CHICHESTER AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION
Commission Meeting, 7:30pm, Town Library, 10/21/2015
Meeting called to order at 7:50pm
Present: Teresa Paradis, Catherine Snow, John Snow, Ann Davis
Not Present: Jeff Jordan, Steve MacCleery, Heather Barker
Materials were handed out
1. Teresa expressed a welcome to our new member Heather Barker who was not in attendance. It is hoped Heather will join us at our next meeting in January 2016; all AgCom info will be sent to her in the meantime.
2. Catherine Snow made a Motion to accept the 09/16/2015 Meeting Minutes; John Snow seconded; all in favor; Minutes accepted.
3. Financial matters discussed:
A. 2015 AgCom Brochure - discussion revealed it is more economical to color print the informational brochure on 20# 8 ½ x 11 paper.
John Snow made a Motion to expend AgCom funds in the amount of $162 payable to Staples for 150 copies of the AgCom brochure; seconded by Teresa Paradis; all in favor; Motion passed.
Copies will be distributed to town offices, library, Live & Let Live, Annie B’s and Clark’s Grain Store.
B. NH Farm Bureau dues - since a member has paid for dues for two years, it was felt it is time for the AgCom to be responsible for this membership.
Teresa Paradis made a Motion to expend AgCom funds in the amount of $60.00 payable to NH Farm Bureau for dues membership; seconded by Catherine Snow; all in favor; Motion passed.
C. Reimbursement for AgCom Farmers Market banners - since banners usually cost $35-50+, Ann purchased for the AgCom two banners at a cost of $10.00/each and one was utilized at the Farmers Market held during the 2015 Garden Tour. It is the general consensus that the AgCom will be promoting a Chichester Farmers Market, these two banners will be helpful.
Teresa Pasradis made a Motion to reimburse Ann Davis for the two banners for a total of $20.00; seconded by Catherine Snow; all in favor; Motion passed.
Ann Davis will request and obtain the three checks from Town Administrator Jodi Pinard.
D. 2016 Budget - after a short discussion, it was decided that the AgCom should again request $250 budget for 2016. It’s not that the commission feels it “needs” to spend all its money for the sake of spending it; but the commission needs to take its responsibilities and duties more seriously by promoting Chichester agricultural endeavors and related agricultural education in order to better serve Chichester.
John Snow made a Motion for the AgCom to submit a Budget Request of $250 for 2016; Teresa Paradis seconded; all in favor; Motion passed.
Ann Davis will prepare the budget request and submit to the Town.
4. Status on AgCom’s promoting farmers markets - Materials provided to members reveal that AgCom’s are to promote agricultural endeavors including farmers markets, fundraising, events and education (speakers, programs) as well as instilling the importance of an Agricultural Section into the Master Plan. This is an endeavor that must be followed up with the planning board. The members will complete “Is Your Town Farm Friendly? - A Checklist for Sustaining Rural Character” survey and discuss at the next meeting.
5. Other business: the Ag in the Classroom was a good start this year with John Snow reading “Who Grew My Soup?” to CCS third grade classes and it was decided to continue the Ag program.
Motion made by Ann Davis for the AgCom to participate in 2016 Ag in the Classroom program by purchasing the elected book, reading it to the third grade classes and donating the copy to the school library; seconded by Teresa Paradis; all in favor; Motion passed.
Chichester Agricultural Commission 2014 Meeting Dates - no Nov-Dec mtgs
2016: Jan 20; Feb 17; Mar 16; Apr 20; May 18; Jun 15; Jul 20; Aug 17; Sep 21; Oct 19
The purpose of an agricultural commission is to protect farmland, support the local agricultural economy, preserve rural character and promote local agriculture to community members and visitors. As ambassadors of the farming community, agricultural commissions act as educators, advisers and promoters to help keep agriculture viable in New Hampshire.